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Alzheimer’s Disease Triggered By ‘One-Two Punch’ Of Common Viruses: Study

At a glance

  • A startling new study reveals common viruses may trigger the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Researchers from Tufts University and the University of Oxford say that the varicella zoster virus (VZV), which causes chickenpox and shingles, may activate herpes simplex (HSV), to set in motion the early stages of Alzheimer’s.
  • “Our results suggest one pathway to Alzheimer’s disease, caused by a VZV infection which creates inflammatory triggers that awaken HSV in the brain,” says Dana Cairns, a research associate in the Biomedical Engineering Department at Tufts University.

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